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Opening Arguments

A fantasy fulfilled

Gruesome details are emerging in the case of the Rising Sun, Ind., 17-year old who is accused of killing his 10-year-old brother. Authorities say Andrew Conley showed no remorse or emotion as he described choking Conner Conley for about 20 minutes, then striking his head on the ground several times before putting the body in the trunk of his car and driving to his girlfriend's house. This will probably spur another round on debates on the effects on violent entertainment on children, since Andrew says he feels "just like" the serial killer Dexter on the Showtime cable show of the same name.

But he also says he has had fantasies about killing someone since he was in the eighth grade, and this is how he describes how he felt about murdering his brother:

"Like I had to ... like when people have something like they are hungry and there is a hamburger sitting there and they knew they had to have it and I was sitting there and it just happened," Conley said in the affidavit.

I don't necessarily know that I'd agree with the prosecutor that "this is an evil child," but Andrew Conley certainly has been warped for a long time. A TV show didn't make him kill his brother.

Studies about media violence have had contradictory results on whether it leads to increased violence or levels of aggression in young people, but it's easy to accept the idea that prolonged exposure at least has a desensitizing effect. But that is a whole different conversation than what to do about people who carry the secret desire to murder around with them all the time. Anything can trigger that desire -- or nothing at all.


Translator Chicago
Tue, 12/08/2009 - 12:44am

Another senseless death... Partly, parents have the responsibility to guide their children on moral values, however, a 17yr old person is old enough to know what is right and what is wrong. I hope the family can come to some point of healing and peace.